First-person shooters — even MMO ones — are becoming more common. Unfortunately, this creates the problem of it becoming increasingly difficult to make distinct shooters. With one premise tweak, Bullet Run hopes to find a niche in the free-to-play, first-person shooter scene. At Sony Online's E3 booth, we had a chance to check out the progress of the game, which is currently accepting beta sign-ups.
Skipping the requisite FPS features — persistent character leveling to unlock guns, several maps and a few different play modes, and now-standard controls — Bullet Run focuses on two precepts: fine-tuned customization and the idea that each match is like a reality TV show.
The latter concept is Bullet Run's most unique element and manifests itself in a few ways. First, unlocks are tied to a number of fans you've picked up. While winning improves this count, you can boost it more heavily with the use of highly stylish kills, which build up a per-match heat stat. Sniping someone is okay, headshotting someone is better, but gunning them down by sliding on your knees and shooting them with a gun in each hand is best. All are improved by stopping to taunt your opponent before he respawns. This not only builds heat, but it also locks your opponent's camera so that he'll have to watch your taunt.
The game will feature two modes at release. Dominion missions are run similar to Unreal Tournament 2004's Assault maps, requiring one team of players to attain a series of objectives while the other team tries to stop them. Team deathmatch is the other mode.
The customization features drew fair emphasis; body, clothing and guns can all be customized, and you have the freedom to add decals and other features. Guns are also customizable in more practical ways, but in theory, these modifications come with disadvantages, so the player's better off adjusting to his play style rather than seeking new upgrades.
Bullet Run's distinctive elements may be enough to separate it from the FPS pack when it comes out. With the upcoming beta, people can play the game soon and draw their own conclusions.
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